The Mysterious House of Colors

Public Art

The Mysterious House of Colors

Justin Berry collaborated with students from Clinton Middle School to curate and produce their own art exhibition. Inspired by visits to local galleries, students brainstormed objects and environments for the show. Based on their drawings and discussions, Berry organized a blend of commissioned and existing works from artists' studios and manufacturers. The final exhibition was installed at the Chelsea Art Museum as a virtual interactive experience.
Justin Berry

2009 – 2010


Youth workshops in and around Chelsea, NY.

Culminating exhibition “Fourteen Again” at the Chelsea Art Museum, 2010.

Justin Berry, The Mysterious House of Colors, 2010.
  • Project description
  • About the artist

Justin Berry in collaboration with students from the Clinton Middle School

When Justin Berry was asked to participate in the program, he decided to give students a chance to curate and produce an art exhibition of their own. After visiting some of the galleries in their neighborhood, he asked the students to think of objects and environments that could become part of a compelling art exhibition. Based on the drawings they produced and the ideas they discussed, Justin visited artists’ studios and consulted various manufacturers to organize a mixture of commissioned and pre-existing works for this exhibition.

Months later, when the show was finally installed, Justin Berry put together booklets that included images of initial drawings and finished works produced by the students. As part of the art exhibition, the student artworks were exhibited through a green screen “portal” that digitally composited gallery visitors into the artwork “installations.” Later, Berry worked with a different group of Clinton Middle School students and asked them to figure out what the artworks might represent. The students responded in the booklets provided and were asked to describe the art in words or actions on video. The goal was to present an art exhibit about the stories inspired by the art rather than the story behind it. These narratives not only described the exhibit, they became its most salient feature.

The conceptual motivations behind the specific works will be left unaccounted for, and the three artists (and one craftsman) who contributed their work to the show have all agreed to remain unnamed.



Justin Berry

Justin Berry is an artist that lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He is a recipient of the 2014 NYFA artist’s fellowship. His work has been exhibited internationally in various venues, with work recently on view at CAVE in Detroit, CUAC in Salt Lake City, and at the University of Richmond Art Museum. Recent issues of Frieze, Pin-up magazine, Media-N, and Prattfolio included features on his work and Bomb Magazine commisioned the piece from him as part of their portfolio series in 2013. Currently he is a member of the gallery collective Essex Flowers based in New York and from 2007 to 2008 he was co-director of the artist run curatorial space Alogon, in Chicago, IL . He holds an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. Mr. Berry was appointed critic at the Digital Media Center for the Arts in 2016.